I am Dominican... Ours is a culture of oral tradition and lively story telling. I grew up listening to my mother recite long poems, most of which carried a message of wisdom, a "moraleja" . I would always ask for "El de la vidriera" to be told as it was my favorite. It is a story about a young man who is being sentenced to death for breaking a store window to steal a loaf of bread for his sick mother. Even today, on our birthdays, my brothers, sisters, and I can come home to a find a recorded voice message from our mother amplifying a stanza of one of her favorite poems. I am a mother... My children are my biggest headache, heartache and joy packed into a steaming blueberry muffin (I love blueberry muffins!) I am a wife... In my late twenties I walked away from an abusive relationship. That continues to be the most courageous thing I have ever done. It was also the kindest thing I have done for myself. It was in the midst of healing and self discovery that I met my husband, a Jewish man enchanted by the flare of Latin America. I befriended him with the intent of playing matchmaker between him and a good friend of mine. Well, that plan didn't work out. I am an educator... I am an elementary school teacher. Although I have worked with second graders and fifth graders, the bulk of my teaching career has been working with kindergarteners. When I tell people I meet that I am a kindergarten teacher they often comment, "Oh, that's cute." And in fact, yes it is cute. I love the innocence, love and wonder they bring to my life each day. Here is a taste of that: At the art center: Me: B, get down from the table. Use a chair for sitting. B: How does she know I was sitting on the table? She is not even looking. A: She has eyes in back of her head B: Oh! like in her neck? * * * At the dramatic play area: K: G, you are so lucky. You have two moms. G: Yeah, I know. K: I only have one mom. G: You have one dad too. K: Yeah, but he snores a lot. I am a daughter... I am one of seven. It’s the way I describe myself. A fact that frames my identity as much as the brown skin that wraps around my body or the tight curls growing stubbornly upward atop my head. And then when asked, "Where are you in the line up?" I answer like a credo, Smack in the middle, and THAT too is a key ingredient in the essence of who I am.